This vivid pictorial map depicts the Pony Express Route from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The map identifies the many stops along the route where riders would rest and refuel and is illustrated with small vignettes including Old Fort Laramie, Sweetwater Station, the Valley of the Great Salt Lake and the Relay Station near Utah Desert.
The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages, newspapers, and mail.
Officially operating as the Leavenworth and Pike’s Peak Express Company of 1859, in 1860 it became the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company; this firm was founded by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell, all of whom were notable in the freighting business.
During its 19 months of operation, it reduced the time for messages to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about 10 days. From April 3, 1860 to October 1861, it became the West’s most direct means of east–west communication before the telegraph was established and was vital for tying the new state of California with the rest of the United States.